Personal Finance

Here’s the tip Suze Orman gave one woman to help jump-start her retirement savings

Glenda West, left, owns a small construction company with her wife. She recently made changes to her retirement savings strategy on the advice of Suze Orman.

Source: Glenda West

At the time, the couple’s business had seen earnings fall 50%. While they had been putting 10% of every paycheck towards their retirement savings, they had to stop. West was concerned they wouldn’t be able to reach their goal of $2 million by retirement.

“The key here is: What are you invested in — not how much money you have, but where is your money invested?” responded Orman, author of “The Ultimate Retirement Guide for 50+” and host of the podcast, “Women and Money.”

The answer: largely in traditional fixed annuity accounts, several Roth individual retirement accounts and savings accounts.

The two had a follow-up conversation by telephone, and West said that gave her the confidence to make some changes.

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“You are never powerful in life until you are powerful over your own money — how you think about it, feel about it, and invest it,” Orman recently told CNBC.

The real obvious change was to use a high-yield savings account, West said.

She also went back to investing, something she had done in the past but stopped after the dotcom bubble burst in 2000. These days, she’s actively investing in stocks and exchange traded funds, doing research and following financial experts.

“I really had played it safe by trying to lay a foundation of annuities,” West said. Annuities provide guaranteed payments to the annuitant once they reach retirement.

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